July 5, 2022

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trash (not aliens)

trash (not aliens)

The shiny foil was part of Perseverance’s thermal blanket. However, it is baffling how this waste ended up two kilometers from the landing site …

NASA spotted something amazing in an image that the persistent Mars rover recently sent back to Earth. Among a large boulder is a silver-colored piece of trash, probably dislodged during the Perseverance landing on Mars.

thermal blanket
The Perseverance team suspected that the shiny flakes were part of the Perseverance thermal blanket. This material was used to protect the rover from the extreme temperatures it was exposed to during its descent.

opaque
However, how the mineral foil got stuck in the Martian rock in question remains a mystery. For example, this rock is located about two kilometers from the place where the persistent Mars rover set foot. So NASA is surprised by this discovery. “It’s a surprise to find this here,” the agency said. “Did this piece crash here after landing, or was it copied by the wind here?”

Mess
This isn’t the first time trash has been found on Mars. Last year, photos from Trace Gas Orbiter showed that Perseverance caused chaos as he descended† The parachute, the protective shell that covered Perseverance during the flight to Mars and the landing, and the eight-engine jet pack that landed Perseverance safely on Mars, still swung around the landing site. Not so long ago, the Martian helicopter was invented The gang improved the picture a bit

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other waste
But perseverance leaves no trace of scrap. Our drive to explore has led to many robots already roaming the Red Planet. Parts of these Mars craft can still be found on the Red Planet.

affected
All this garbage worries some scientists. In the eyes of these scientists, Mars is actually one of the largest crime scenes where they hope to find traces of life, not pollution. When robots and possibly humans roam the planet in the future, they may destroy important “evidence” or leave footprints that will soon lead scientists down the wrong path. But also apart from the science, there are of course good reasons to be careful with “pure” Mars. After all, don’t we have to do this for posterity? Do they not deserve to see Mars as it is, without wasting and without affecting the landscape?

The moon and space around the earth
Not only Mars, but also the Moon is no longer as pure as it was before. newly, A rocket-propelled grenade hit the moon† There are also parts of The Israeli lunar lander Beresheet crashed onto the moon’s surface in April 2019† And in 2009, our natural satellite was intentionally bombed, hoping to learn from the dust plume from the collision. Space around the Earth is no longer empty of waste. It is estimated that hundreds of tons of garbage circulates around the Earth. Think of broken and discarded satellites, but also of (small) debris from satellites that collide with each other. Researchers have been expressing concern about this troubling situation for some time now. This is partly due to space junk every now and then poses a threat to the manned International Space Station

Meanwhile, the task of perseverance continues. Because despite the chaos the Mars probe leaves, it is doing very important work. Perseverance landed in Jezero crater on February 18, 2021 and has been searching for traces of (former) life ever since. This is the first. Previous rovers have verified the habitability of Mars, but they have not actively searched for life. And if perseverance happens to be life, we may forgive him a little for the mess he made on Mars.

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